Origins of the Mandela Effect

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

In 2009, Fiona Broome launched the original Mandela Effect website to document memories that didn’t match our current reality and its history.

The first reported memories included Nelson Mandela’s funeral in the late 20th century. Many people – in several countries –  remembered nearly identical details of that funeral coverage. None of us could explain that coincidence.

Later topics included Billy Graham’s funeral, the Berenstein/Berenstain Bears, and many others. See the Major Memories page for some of them.

Since then, the Mandela Effect community has grown to hundreds of thousands of people, connected by extraordinary, similar memories.

Here’s Fiona’s explanation:

The “Mandela Effect” is what happens when someone has a clear memory of something that never happened in this reality.

Many of us – mostly total strangers – remember the exact same events with the almost identical details. However, our memories are different from what’s in history books, newspaper archives, and so on.

This isn’t a conspiracy, and we’re not talking about “false memories.”

Most people routinely check to see if they’re just confused. And sometimes, they are.

But sometimes their memories are not only clear, they’re also confirmed by others who recall the exact same events.

How does this happen, and why?

There is no “one size fits all” answer. In fact, there are probably multiple valid explanations. They include bad news reporting that spread, word-of-mouth, sometimes from sources one might usually trust.

But, my favorite conversations were in the early days of the Mandela Effect. That’s when some of us speculated that parallel realities exist, and – until now – we’ve been “sliding” between them without realizing it.

However, I believe the future is far more interesting than dissecting the past… whatever did (or didn’t) happen, unless it powerfully impacted our personal lives.

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